The All Progressives Congress (APC) says Nigeria, which deserves a strong, vibrant opposition to play its conventional role in the polity to deepen democracy, is “sadly” becoming a one-party state.
The APC National Publicity Secretary, Malam Lanre Issa-Onilu, who disclosed this on Sunday in Abuja, said the ruling party which believed in democracy and progressive politics could not pretend any longer.
Issa-Onilu said democracy could not be said to be “fully operational” in a situation where the “supposed main” opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had become a “joke, irresponsible and rudderless.”
“Even as the governing party, we recognize the importance of rigorous and intelligent interrogation of our policies and programmes by the opposition.
“There are a lot to gain by our democracy and our country in an atmosphere of robust engagement by responsible and patriotic opposition. The political system we practice has important roles for the political parties outside of power. The system envisaged that such parties would provide alternative viewpoints and put the governing party on its toes,” he said in a statement issued in Abuja.
The APC spokesman, who said “the PDP and their minions” had in the name of opposition continued to distract the government and Nigerians with their “post-election delusions, salacious fictions, conjured rifts in government circle”, added that the lowest of it all was “the pathetic, senseless, and tragic “Jubril of Sudan malicious tale” among other fake news.
He said it was sad that the PDP had proved incapable of filling the important democratic space, while the other mushroom parties were even worse.
He said some of the smaller parties were filled with incurable charlatans issuing infantile weekly press statements on behalf of the PDP, adding that “our democracy deserves better.”
Issa-Onilu, who said the so-called Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), which could have filled the vacuum and engaged the APC administration in useful debates over governance, had become “a comedy theatre group and frontline PDP minion”.
He said CUPP has the “unenviable mandate” to try to intimidate and blackmail important state institutions such as INEC, the judiciary, and security agencies, on behalf of PDP with the hope of gaining political advantage having been rejected by the majority of the voters.
He said at a period while all should focus on issues of nation building, the best PDP and its acolytes were offering was a distraction as the current administration tackled national challenges.
He said Nigeria under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration would continue to consolidate on its status as Africa’s largest economy, while the PDP wallowed in what he called its “obscene conducts”.
“Despite inheriting a battered economy, the administration is growing the economy after pulling it out of recession.
“The administration’s record investments in agriculture, social investments and infrastructure projects are paying off hugely.
“For one, we are now currently the largest rice producing country in Africa as a direct result of conscientious efforts to diversify the economy.
“Our age-long corruption and impunity challenges are no longer the norm. The fight against corruption is on course. Collectively and individually, a reorientation in our national life and thinking is emerging.
“With the continued support of well-meaning Nigerians, we will do more for the shared prosperity, peace and progress of our dear nation,” the statement partly read.